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Letter to the Editor
St Aloysius College Literacy Strategy: Checklist of genres and text types

Letter to the Editor
(Response genre)
A letter to the editor is an example of a formal letter expressing an opinion, a complaint, an argument or giving information

Structure
Use the conventions of a formal letter
• Introduce the topic and your opinion early
• May be a reference to a previous letter or article
• Usually a mix of fact and opinion
• Organise paragraphs with details to support your opinion
• Paragraph length may vary


Language features
• Formal term of address (Dear Sir or Dear Editor)
• Persuasive language
• Subjective but not too emotional
• Language should be formal
• A direct appeal to the editor or readers


More information
More ideas and examples of letters to the editor can be found in
•Targeting text (series), Blake Education, Glebe N.S.W.
• Anderson, M 1997, Text types in English, Macmillan, 1998.
• English Elements (series), Jacaranda Wiley, Milton, Qld.
• Whitfield, M 2001, Targeting writing across the curriculum, Blake Education, Glebe, N.S.W.
• Schill, J 1998, On track: working with texts, Heinemann, Port Melbourne.
• Excel essential skills (series), Pascal, Glebe, N.S.W.

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